Best way to use your cardio equipment (treadmill, bike, rower, elliptical)

The cardio equipment in commercial and home gyms is the most popular equipment in the gym and also the most misused. Most clients click on the “quick start” button, may go at a lower intensity for a few minutes for a warm up, and then get to a slightly uncomfortable pace for 20 minutes. There are great benefits to using the equipment in this way but you are not getting as much as you could out of the machines.
Here are a few tips to maximize your exercise time:
1. Don’t use the “fat burning zone” pre-set program: There is a zone of activity where your body uses the most fat for fuel but this doesn’t equate with more fat being burnt off. The ‘fat burning program’ tends to be less intense than the cardio programs so overall calories burnt are more with the higher intensity programs.

2. Keep changing your speed throughout your workout. A great way to maximize a 20 min walk, run or bike:

a. Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace

b. Work at 6/10 for 2 mins (10 being very breathless)

c. Work at 7/10for 2 mins

d. Work at 8/10 for 2 mins

e. Work at 9/10 for 2 mins

f. Do circuit without the warm up again for 1 minute intervals

g. Cool down pace for 3 mins

3. Try the rowing machine next time you go to the gym. The rowing machine is often neglected for other machines but is a great workout that trains your whole body including your back better than treadmills or bikes.

4. Work strength intervals into your cardio machine work:

a. Walk/jog to warm up for 5 minutes
b. Do 20 squats with 8 pounds hand weights
c. Row for 3 minutes
d. Use back pull machine (lat pull down) 20 times
e. Run or fast walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes
f. Tie an exercise band just above your knees and side step 20 times
g. Finish with abdominal strengthening and stretches

5. Notice your posture: Most people lean forward too far and slouch when they are on a cardio machine—stand tall and gently draw in your abdominal muscle to support your lower back during your workout

Vintage Fitness has created a “taster” session which includes one personal training session only to give you a chance to get comfortable with the trainer and evaluate the many advantages of working with our qualified Vintage Fitness trainers. If you want to shake up your cardio routine why not try a taster session?

Good Luck
Erin Billowits
Vintage Fitness

Sign Up for our Newsletter